Remembering God’s Goodness so You Don’t Have To Be Afraid
JAMIE C. FINN
“For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’” Isaiah 41:13 (ESV)
My fingers shook as I dialed my husband’s number.
“They removed him again.” I jumped right in. “They removed him, and they’re going to bring him to some strangers’ house, and strangers are going to adopt him, and we’re never, ever going to see him again. And I am not OK!”
If you pictured me walking around my kitchen in circles, crying and gasping for breath between each word, you would be right.
My husband’s response, through his own pained realization that our beloved former foster son may be placed somewhere else, was this: “Jamie, God is good. And everything He does is good.”
Hanging up, I repeated it like a mantra as I continued to walk around my kitchen in circles. God, You are good, and everything You do is good. God, You are good, and everything You do is good. God, You are good …
I fall into fear when I define who God is by what I see, rather than defining what I see by who God is. And who is He?
God is omnipresent, everywhere all the time.
God is omniscient, knowing everything from every time.
God is omnipotent, having all the power ever needed for anything.
God is sovereign, perfectly in control of every person and place and thing.
God is immutable, never changing, because He is perfect and will never get any more perfect or any less perfect.
God is eternal, existing from forever past to forever future.
God is holy, perfect and pure, separate and unlike His creation.
God is wise. God is righteous. God is good. God is merciful. God is love.
These are real truths about the real God who is involved in every part of our lives. They’re not platitudes or plaque quotes. They are the most determining factors of our fates, the most decisive forces in our lives and the lives of those we love. And they are the reason we can trust in Him.
So in the midst of fear, I can speak with confidence in who He is: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3, ESV).
Throughout Scripture, when God’s people are told not to be afraid, they’re told something else along with it. Some important truth, beautiful promise or big-picture reality of God’s character:
- “… Fear not … I am your shield …” (Genesis 15:1, ESV)
- “Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you …” (Genesis 26:24b, ESV)
- “… Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today.” (Exodus 14:13a, ESV)
- “You shall not fear them, for it is the LORD your God who fights for you.” (Deuteronomy 3:22, ESV)
- “… Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13, ESV)
- “… Fear not, for I have redeemed you …” (Isaiah 43:1, ESV)
It’s not just that we shouldn’t be afraid. It’s that we don’t have to be afraid.
Fear is a sort of forgetting, a focusing on the “what” instead of the “who.” An amnesia of just how good God is and always has been and promises always to be. We look at God with worried accusation: But how can I know You’ll do it again?
If fear is forgetting, then the antidote to fear is remembering. Remembering the faithfulness of God, the character of God and the promises of God.
Heavenly Father, You are everything we need and more. Help me to hold on to hope and to trust in Your goodness even when life overwhelms me. May I always seek Your goodness and be reminded of Your love in times of turmoil and times of gladness. Thank You for all that You are. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.